Saturday 21 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Noisy Neighbours.

It was a busy day yesterday. Somehow, the time, as usual, just went “poof”. Rich was off in the evening to go and see OMD as the Indigo2… part of my birthday present to him. He was thrilled, as somehow (by total fluke) I’d ended up getting him ‘VIP’ tickets… well – he ordered them himself… but that was all that was left. As I said… aren’t I nice?! So… I dropped him off at the Dome about quarter to eight and my nearly-mother-in-law and I went to Asda. Friday night shopping? Big mistake, huge! It was mental – reminded me totally of why I prefer to shop in Sainsbury’s. As we were going round the tannoy announced “The Harry Potter books have arrived in the store. They will be going on sale at 12:01 for the amazing price of £5”. Amazing price indeed. As far as I was aware the pre-order I’d paid £3 for a WH Smith was still going to cost me a further £7 or so. Bummer. Eventually we made it out of Asda. Just in time for me to get home… cook dinner, take my injection, wrap Rich’s birthday presents and wash up. By which time it was time to go and fetch Rich from the Dome. We popped into Sainsbury’s to pick up a few forgotten items… and then it was time to go and join the queue for Harry Potter. I decided to pick up my pre-sale (even though financially it would have made more sense to write off the £3 and buy it for a fiver in Asda). Good decision. We were about a dozen back in the queue at Smith’s which only went just past Boots at the shopping park… Asda’s came out of the store and round the side and then some. About 10 to 12 the manager came out the store to set out the procedure. “We have lots of books” he said “Enough to sell them to that queue when they run out over there”. About 2 minutes before the doors opened and we were allowed to pick up our books from the table and join the queue for the cash register… which started ringing at exactly 12:01. Finally – the long anticipated moment. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. All 607 pages! On the way out I noticed the balloons in the window… could I have one I asked the security guard… and started a trend! Wonder how many they had left this morning!?!

So by 12:15 we were home… Harry burning a hole in my bag. Rich was disappointed because the Red Sox game he’d been planning to watch had been bumped in favour of Barry Bonds and the chase for the home run record. Don’t know if he did it last night. Doubtful as I think he needed 3 to equal the record and four to beat it, from one game.

At 12:30 I finally settled down with my book. I’m not going to discuss anything of the book here… I’d hate to let anything slip to those who haven’t read it yet! Let’s just say than after an hour and a half I’d read 115 pages. An hour after that I’d read 220 pages. By 4:15 (when I decided to try and go to sleep) I’d reached page 286. After half an hour I gave up and went back downstairs to read, where I managed another five chapters before falling asleep with my face in the book!

Progress was slower today. I didn’t wake up until midday (oops), and then there was Rich’s birthday presents, and cake, and other celebratory things. I settled down to read again, only to be distracted beyond belief by our noisy neighbours (well, one set). Drums… and music. VERY loud. I rang the council to complain, who told me – if I gave them the number of the house they’d write a letter. Superb. Not actually do anything to stop the noise. In the end I shouted over the garden fence to them and asked if they could keep it down a little. Not 10 minutes later an apologetic young man was on the doorstep apologising. Lucky for him my nearly-mother-in-law answered (I had my foam earplugs back in and didn’t hear the door). I’d have given him a much harder time. Believe me, I shall take a note of their door number, and if they so much as think of doing it again I’ll be straight onto the useless Council.

Finally I got back to Harry. And by 5pm I’d reached page 607. The end… no more Harry. I’m not giving anything away if I say that the book was superb… action, adventure… beautifully spun tales. I think though, I wouldn’t let a child younger than about 12 or 13 read it… maybe older than that… maybe they should get ratings for books like they do in the Cinema?!

Now I’m sad… and I’m not really sure what to do. This happens every time I finish a book I’ve been looking forward to. It’s the problem of being able to read fast… you get to the end and find out what happens, but then there is no more book to read!